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This past spring term, I went to the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact club fair and happened to be roped towards a stand titled “Dementia Scholars.” The poster’s station was manned by a handful of bright-eyed students, eager to catch my attention. They gave me the whole spiel — who they were, what they did, how often they did it. And without much thought, I wrote down my email on their list and forgot about it once I left.
Despite my interest in politics, I have no plans to run for political office anytime soon. While I firmly believe that political participation is important at any age, the rush of millennials to run for public office in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency is an ineffective and reactionary approach, and it’s not what America needs right now. College-aged students are inexperienced, unprepared and are substituting legislation for political activism and protest.
Democracy rests on people’s ability to respectfully disagree. When America’s democratic fabric has eroded to the point where political opponents become incorrigible enemies, the last thing it needs is more incivility. Unfortunately, incivility is the type of discourse many people seem to promote.
After completing my first year at Dartmouth, taking a step back from campus life was almost as overwhelming as plunging into it. Life back in the “real” world moves slowly, particularly if one’s off-term does not include an internship, a research grant or any other educational endeavor. Friends go home at the day’s end, and no regularly scheduled club meetings fill up one’s evenings. Students find themselves with a lot of free time and little idea of what to do with it.
This article does not represent the entirety of Epsilon Kappa Theta; it is simply my opinion as an alumna of the organization.
“There is a difference between regretting a sexual encounter and walking away from an experience feeling violated.”
Activism can seem like a dichotomy, with little leeway between social justice warrior and champion of the status quo. But limiting people to these two categories obscures the effectiveness of a quieter form of activism that occurs within, not against, the status quo.
In less than one week, I will have officially finished my freshman year at Dartmouth. In numbers, it looked like this: nine classes, eight opinion columns written for The Dartmouth, seven rejected applications (as a caveat, two rejections came from the same place), six close friends whom I treasure dearly, five days a week (every week) when I did not get enough sleep, four dramatic emotional outbursts, three pairs of lost headphones, two embarrassing incidents featuring me dropping food and making a mess at various dining locations and one constant cycle of oscillation. I am referring to the way I swung — back and forth, up and down, forward and backward — from one extreme to another: jubilance to despair, serenity to panic, confidence to shame, pride to humility. It was truly the best of times and the worst of times.
A friend, a relative, an Olympian and an old teammate: Four people who, though they did not do so knowingly, contributed in one way, shape or form over the past week to challenge my view of the world. It may sound hyperbolic, or tinged with shades of a philosophical game of Clue, so let’s start somewhere light: Green Key.
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) in the United States, and Dartmouth has been recognizing the month through programming over the past few weeks. The theme of this year’s AAPIHM at Dartmouth has been “Counter Currents: Beyond the Surface,” which was meant to highlight and uplift identities and narratives that are typically subsumed and homogenized within mainstream definitions of “Asian,” “Asian-American” and “Pacific Islander.” Much of the programming planned by this year’s AAPIHM committee has centered around deconstructing perceptions of identity and making new connections and solidarities with those identities, which typically do not get included in popular discourse of what being “Asian” is. This impulse toward further reflection, critique and inclusion in Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities should be lauded. In my view, Pan-Asian activists and community members should take a step further and seek to deconstruct how “Asia” emerged as a geographical unit in order to understand how and to what degree myriad people from various populations in “Asia” do and do not self-define as “Asian.”
We are writing as individuals who are deeply engaged in sexual violence prevention and response work at Dartmouth.
While it would be impossible to pay attention to every jumbled phrase that streams out of the President’s mouth, the impulse to ignore him is tempered by the sobering reality that his offhand statements often become the policy direction of the United States government. This seems to be the case with a comment he made recently in which he referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals,” a statement that the White House doubled down on Monday with a Breitbart-style press release entitled “What you need to know about the violent animals of MS-13.” Trump’s tendency to vilify all undocumented people and conflate immigrant communities with violent criminals is well-documented, and to parse his general incoherence in order to pretend he or his administration care to make any real distinction is intellectual dishonesty at its boldest. One only needs to ask what to make of the families of these so-called “animals” or the communities they live in to recognize the real intent of this rhetoric.
In a recent column entitled “Yes Means Yes,” Jillian Freeman ’21 laid out an argument against the phrase “unenthusiastic consent is not consent.” Unfortunately, this argument is disconnected from the power dynamics and pressures regarding sex and consent. All too often, propositions for sexual contact happen under circumstances of coercion, where unenthusiastic consent is often an escape route from a more unsavory outcome. The reality is that men control the power dynamic of potential sexual encounters and can pressure their partners to consent, even implicitly. Clearly, no one would fault the victim of a robbery for consenting to have their wallet stolen when threatened at gunpoint; obviously, their consent in that situation should not be considered valid.
I am writing this commentary as a reaction to The Dartmouth’s editorial piece, “Verbum Ultimum: Open The Playground,” published on May 11, 2018.
I have recently seen signs around campus proclaiming the phrase, “Unenthusiastic consent is not consent.” It is imperative, and in the best interest of all students on this campus, to demonstrate why this saying is extremely problematic. Although catchy, this contradictory statement creates subjectivity around what actually constitutes “consent,” since the expression of enthusiasm is not objective. Consequently, cases could arise in which one accuses another of a crime as serious as sexual assault simply because although the first person said “yes,” and the second person took that as their word, the first person wasn’t genuinely enthusiastic about it.
A few months after I turned 17, I dragged my mom with me to the crowded Harlem Department of Motor Vehicles in New York City. After three hours of waiting and a disturbingly easy test — think, “What does a red octagonal street sign mean?” — we made it to the front of the line, where I received my learner’s permit. Since I was to turn 18 before the end of that calendar year, the DMV employee recommended that I register to vote while I was there. I considered myself liberal and my parents were Democrats, so without much deliberation or discussion, I became a registered member of the Democratic Party in New York.
I don’t mean to open old wounds, but it’s time to have a conversation about the 2016 election and its media coverage. In an age when various kinds of media have more influence over political campaigns than ever before, the 2016 election stands out. The vast and particularly damning negative coverage of Donald Trump, which did little to slow his campaign, seems to be reflective of an era during which the conventional wisdom of “no coverage is bad coverage” is correct. If this is true, how should the public consider and value the media coverage of campaigns, and to what extent do politicians themselves now play a role in creating their own press?
Phones are windows to a digitized world, and people are on either side. The beat of a finger tapping is staccato, like a modern-day attention span. Memory has become a camera that is never turned off. Meet the Millennials.
I want to be rich. There, I said it. I am at this school because I love the people here, I love the opportunities afforded to me here and I love the things I am learning here, but I am primarily here because I expect a high rate of return on my Ivy League education.
On Apr. 6, Dartmouth students “Took Back the Night.” Social spaces were asked to close in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence. All of them said they did. (While walking home I witnessed a group of guys run loudly into a fraternity shouting, “We’re gonna be late for our pong tourney!” I will let you speculate which fraternity it was.) While many community members took hosting events such as movie screenings, discussions and a march seriously, most saw Apr. 6 as a forced “dry night.” What do we have to show for it a month later?